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Showing posts from 2023

German govts in recent decades hardly took effective action against neo-Nazi forces

Lina E. By Harsh Thakor  Recently, the Dresden regional court in Germany sentenced the anti-fascist Lina E. and three others for several alleged militant actions against fascists and for forming a criminal organization. Lina E. was sentenced to five years and three months in prison. The other accused anti-fascists, Lennart A, Jannis R and Jonathan M, received sentences between 27 months and 39 months imprisonment.

Farmers, TUs come together, demand justice for women wrestlers, arrest Brij Bhushan

Joint Communique from the platform of Central Trade Unions (CTUs) & Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM): *** The meeting of the Joint platform of Central Trade Unions and Samyukt Kisan Morcha was held on 8th June 2023 in Delhi which expressed its satisfaction of the continued mutual solidarity support to the programmes and actions on the demands of workers and farmers. They reiterated not only to continue the ongoing support to the respective programmes of actions chalked out in the respective platforms but went further in taking decision to plan nationwide joint activities against the anti farmer, anti worker and anti national policies of the Central Govt. They took note of the ongoing struggle of farmers and trade unions in Noida, the struggle of citizens in Varanasi and other places on democratic rights and extended support. They condemned the lathi charge and arrest of farmers in Kurukshetra who were agitating for the demand of Minimum Support Price of their produce. They reiterated the

How this top Maoist leader couldn't extricate completely from the Left adventurist line

By Harsh Thakor  On the 31st of May Katakam Sudarshan, known as Comrade Anand, breathed his last, at the age of 69. Anand was a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoists) and an important leader of the revolutionary movement of India.

Global Ambedkarites in deep shock over killing of Buddhist Ambedkarite youth in Nanded

Joint  Ambedkar International Mission and Ambedkar Association of North America statement on killing of an Ambedkarite Buddhist youth for celebrating Dr Ambedkar Jayanti (birth anniversary) in his village on 1st June 2023 in Bondhar Haveli village, Nanded, Maharashtra: *** Every single public event hosted by any social or political organization in Maharashtra is not completed without citing Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and yet an Ambedkarite Buddhist youth, Akshay Bhalerao was brutally murdered for celebrating Dr Ambedkar Jayanti in the village Bondhar, Nanded, Maharashtra by dominant caste goons. Caste Atrocities are common in such villages where the Scheduled Castes and Buddhists are daily humiliated, mocked, or abused with caste slurs and women subjected to sexual violence. 

Suffering classes further pushed to danger as Left is struggling for its existence

By Harasankar Adhikari  'Marxism has a future because humankind has no future without it.' It is experimentally and evidently true. This social and economic theory tells us to empower the struggling classes of every society. It also guides them to rescue them from the exploitation of the so-called capitalists. These struggling classes are always the vital section of every civilised society, to whom every civilization is owed. Democracy always strengthens the power of the deprived for their equity and justice. When a democratic government does not follow the principles of Marxism, it is never a people’s government. The policy for the welfare of the struggling classes is only for vote gaining purposes, and it does not work for equal rights for the deprived section of society.

Starting Aug 2023 Srinagar's Dal Lake to get rid of 70,000 tons of waste every year

CEF Group to commence its waste processing project in Srinagar, Kashmir from August 2023: A note: *** Leading clean energy provider CEF Group leaps forward in the green energy revolution and announces conversion of 70,000 tons of lake waste, like weeds, and lilies from Dal Lake, Jammu & Kashmir, into organic manure and allied products. The conversion process will kick-start in August 2023 at the waste processing plant of CEF Group, where Dal Lake waste will be treated and processed in the CEF plant being set up in Srinagar to produce more than 20 thousand tons of organic manure.

Strengthen, strictly implement POSH, POCSO Acts: sexual harassment of women, children

The National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) convention calls for one lakh public meetings. A note: *** On June 4, 2023, on the occasion of the 70th year of the foundation, a National Convention in solidarity with the protesting wrestlers was organised by the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), the pioneering mass women’s organisations of Independent India. The convention tiled ‘From Remission to Wrestler’s Struggle: Challenges before the Women’s Movement and Way Forward,’ Almost 400 members from 20 states participated at Constitution Club of India New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Aruna Roy, President of NFIW. In her speech she highlighted the wide-ranging rights-based work done by the organisation over the last seven decades for social, political and economic equality. She recounted the history of the movement in standing with the most marginalized the poor, Dalit, Adivasis, Muslims and every other section of society to strengthen struggles for justice and against communal v

J&K RTI activist denied opportunity to address audience, bring forward critical issues

Statement by Er. Irfan Banka, Founder of J&K RTI Foundation and convener of the Nalae Ferozpora Bachav Movement, regarding the incident of official misconduct during the My Town My Pride Jan Abhiyan Program and communication to Raj Bhavan: *** Er. Irfan Banka, a prominent RTI Activist and advocate, has come forward to address an incident of misconduct that occurred during the My Town My Pride Jan Abhiyan Program held at Mugam Town Hall in  Budgam. Additionally, Er. Irfan Banka has communicated the matter to Raj Bhavan, seeking appropriate action. During the event, Er. Irfan Banka was denied the opportunity to address the audience and bring forward critical issues concerning the people and services in the community, including waste management, traffic management, and the achievement of sustainable development goals. The incident involved the Additional Registrar Co-operative Kashmir, who not only prevented Er. Irfan Banka from speaking but also subjected him to public humiliation. E

Towards truly equitable and inclusive communities for a global circular transition

A note on the role of Global South in enabling a global circular transition hosted by International Council for Circular Economy at The World Circular Economy Forum 2023, Helsinki: *** Circularity is critical in the urban context of the Global South. Rapid urbanization in the region has led to significant challenges related to housing, transportation, and waste management. While many cities in the Global South are adopting sustainable urban planning approaches, waste management practices, promoting recycling and composting to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, these practices are helping to promote inclusive economic growth and social progress. International Council for Circular Economy hosted a roundtable at WCEF2023 on “Role of Global South in enabling a global circular transition” in Helsinki on 31 May’23. The roundtable would be the first of its kind of initiative that was led by the south for supporting the global circular transition. The roundtable was attended by 25

Discussion on making school education meaningful to vulnerable communities

ActionAid note on workshop to boost National Curriculum Framework operations: *** Leading educationists and activists striving to make education meaningful to vulnerable communities gathered in Delhi to discuss the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE). Acting in response to the call of the NCF Steering Committee appointed by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, ActionAid Association had organised the meeting to gather feedback on the draft NCFSE. This is part of ActionAid Association’s commitment to promote inclusive and gender-responsive education. The two-day national workshop titled ‘NCF Perspectives: Seeking Feedback on National Curriculum Framework (NCF)’ on May 30 and 31, 2023, was held at India International Centre, New Delhi. The workshop aimed to ensure a structured approach to gathering feedback from key stakeholders and enhancing their active participation in shaping the response sought by the Government of India. Stakeholders representing e

Powerful, resourceful lobbyists at work overtime to increase alcohol consumption

By Bharat Dogra  Wine hath drowned more men than the sea. —Thomas Fuller Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness. —Seneca There have been several instances when even mild efforts by health authorities to warn about serious health impacts of alcohol were resisted by alcohol lobbyists who also tried to spread disinformation with regard to supposed health benefits of alcohol. A recent example is of the criticism faced by the Ireland government which has enacted a law which requires all alcoholic products to prominently mention that their consumption is directly linked to liver disease and cancer.

Concerned citizens' letter: Urgently restore, protect historic lakes of water stressed Bhuj

In a letter to the chief officer, Bhuj municipality, with copy to Bhuj municipality president, Bhuj Area Development Authority chairman, senior officials of the Union Jal Shakti and Environment and Forests Ministries, Gujarat chief secretary, as senior environment and forests and urban development officials of the Gujarat government, as many as 27 concerned citizens of Kutch district have insisted that they must urgently notify, protect, restore and rejuvenate all the lakes of Bhuj city region. Threatening legal action in case this is not done, the letter said, the officials are accountable for the environmental damages caused by the “deliberate ongoing violations of the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016 and the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016”, as also “non-compliance” of several Gujarat High Court, Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal orders. (More images at the end of the letter) The letter: *** Kachchh, a semi-arid district in western Gujarat, is a

Big challenge for environment movement: How to link with justice, peace movements?

By Bharat Dogra  The biggest hope for resolving life-threatening environmental problems of our planet increasingly rests now not with the world-level political leadership, which has failed miserably in many critical contexts, but instead with those highly committed environmental activists who have many significant achievements to their credit despite working in the middle of many difficulties. Alas, even they too are often grim today instead of being enthused because of the rather overwhelming conditions of world which force environment protection to go two steps backward even when the activists and movements achieve the difficult task of moving one step ahead.

Danger ahead: Smartphones making teens sexually smart, but mentally disturbed

By Harasankar Adhikari  We live in a digitally globalised society. Bombarded consumerism and imitation of foreign cultures and practises reshape our everyday lives. Life choices and lifestyles are the driving forces of modernity at present. People of almost all ages are within this realm and rhythm of consumerism for happiness.

Sengol imbroglio suggests reason why Modi, BJP don't respect modern Indian history

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The new parliament building opened on February 28. It looks it is not the Parliament but part of #Pratinidhisabhas ' started by earstwhile #princelystates in India. The #BJP for long has been acting as if India is a #Kingdom and Modi ji the new #King of India. Even at the coronations of Kings, you find a large number of people, and dignitaries but look at the opening ceremony we have only one face as if he build everything. Is it the dream of a republic.

Worship practice of Hindu religion in official functions should be considered appropriate

By NS Venkataraman* The new Indian parliament building was inaugurated with much fanfare, pomp and show by Prime Minister Modi befitting the occasion. While the magnificent building with several technological features was built in just over two years , the style and structure of the building has been acclaimed by millions of people who saw the inaugural programme. Those who saw this programme in person or in visual media could not miss the fact that the installation of Sengol ( Sceptre) was the hall mark of this elegant programme . In India, historically, Sengol is considered to be the symbol of justice and good governance.

Demanding reinstatement, Belsonika workers and families protest against retrenchment

By Harsh Thakor  On May 29, 2023, workers of Belsonika factory embarked on a 48-hour hunger strike. The suspended and dismissed Belsonica workers have been staging a relay hunger strike outside the factory in Haryana’s Manesar protesting against retrenchment and suspension of workers for the previous 28 days. The workers said they would unflinchingly continue the strike unless reinstated.

Cave of Spleen - a feminist perspective: Status of women in early 18th century England

The Cave of Spleen: Aubrey Beardsley's illustration for Pope's “The Rape of the Lock” By Pragya Ranjan  "The Rape of the Lock" by Alexander Pope published in 1712 is a mock-heroic narrative which satirically glorifies trivial incident of cutting of locks of protagonist Belinda. This poem was written in the Augustan Era (1660-1784) which is marked by the period of scientific reason and rationality, whose effect can be seen on the writers of those times. This timeline is particularly important to analyse the episode of the Cave of Spleen.

Israeli govt bows to pressure of protests, Palestinians' solitary confinement ends

By Harsh Thakor  A continuous ebb and flow has been the feature of the Palestinian political prisoners movement in the last few weeks, with the Israel Prison administration twice buckling to the pressure asserted by jailed Palestinian prisoners, after placing major Palestinian leaders, in complete activity. A tribute to the unflinching resilience of the Palestenians within prison walls.

Legalising non-heterosexual marital relations? But what about marriage, family institutions?

By Harasankar Adhikari  Is the slogan "women’s freedom" biologically relevant and an important issue? In fact, it is the most politically correct agenda. Therefore, this slogan of women’s freedom is nothing but confusion. We witness rapid progress in the field of technology and human rights changes ‘on the labour market, a revolution of women’s awareness, and the individualization of the course of human life.’ It influences changes in family and marital life, ‘such as the decline of patriarchy, the decrease in the number of children in a family, looking after children rather than bringing them up, the increasing role of the recreational function of the family, and the declining procreative function of the family.’ 

Naxalbari: Mechanical adherence to Chinese idea of liberated zone failed to make dent

By Harsh Thakor  On May 25 we commemorate the 56th anniversary of the heroic uprising of ‘Naxalbari’. Inspite of neo-fascism brimming at an unprecedented height Naxalbari s not dead and buried. Naxalbari was a rallying point for sowing the seeds of social change and knitting of cultural movements. The Naxalbari struggle sparked movements that remained synonymous with the spur for revolutionary transformation of India society.-which remained unchallenged till today- except for the short lived Sampoorna kranti movement led by JP.

Arrest of wrestlers: State-initiated misuse of cops' power ‘to maintain law and order’

Statement by the Indian Christian Women's Movement (ICWM): No more silence in the face of government sanctioned police brutality against protesting women wrestlers in the national capital *** The members of the Indian Christian Women’s Movement strongly condemn the undemocratic and oppressive action of the Delhi police as per the dictates of the central government. The attempt to foil the Mahila Maha Panchayat programme in support of the women wrestlers, which was scheduled to be held in front of the new Sansad Bhawan, is brutal and criminal. We condemn: • The state-initiated misuse of the powers of the police ‘to maintain law and order’ in the national capital, in order to silence citizens' voices. • The police violence and arrest of the women wrestlers and activists outside parliament while Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the accused in cases of sexual harassment spanning a decade, was attending the inauguration of the new parliament building presided over by Pr

Empathetically look into accusation of sexual harassment against BJP leader

Statement on police brutality and detention of protesting wrestlers in Delhi *** Behind the façade of the inauguration of the new parliament building, we all witnessed the most brutal form of crack-down on the peacefully protesting wrestlers in broad day-light at the heart of the national capital. Behind the curtain of the “dance of democracy” we all saw, the “Champions of India” are being dragged through the tarred road of Delhi and thrown into the police vans. We strongly condemn this act.

Outrageous that the protesting wrestlers have been brutally manhandled

Statement issued by Amarjeet Kaur General Secretary, AITUC, and Mariam Dhawale, General Secretary, AIDWA *** AITUC condemns the oppression let loose on the women wrestlers and all those who were at Jantar Mantar at the protest site or were proceeding towards the site to join in the women panchayat which had been called today to press for their demand for justice, arrest of Mr Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh alleged for sexual harrassment in the FIRs against him including under POCSO Act. The RSS- BJP government led by Mr Narendra Modi is further exposed of its facade of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padao' slogan as well as its naked expression of intolerant towards any criticism, opposition or even raising voice for seeking justice under the rule of law and constitutional rights. We demand of immediate arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, release of all those arrested, justice to women wrestlers who through their voice have raised the voice of women who face harrassments at different levels

Central government acts against complaining wrestlers instead of Brij Bhushan

Statement by the Joint Platform of Trade Unions: *** Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions directs all their affiliates to actively condemn the Central Government’s Blatant Partiality, on 1st June, 2023. The Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions unequivocally condemns the brutal repression by Delhi Police of the Female Wrestlers demanding justice for the past more than a month. The police action on 28th May, 2023, was shocking in the extreme, patently undemocratic, high handed, and obviously on the orders of the Central Government. It is shocking that Brij Bhushan Sharan, the Chairman of the Wrestling Federation of India, who has been accused of sexual harassment by the Female Wrestlers, one of whom is a minor, is not being touched, in spite of FIRs lodged against him on Supreme Court orders, while those who have complained against him, braving the social stigma it carries in our patriarchal society, are rounded up. This also exposes the hoax played out in the name of the "new

US war on world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer might benefit Japan

By Vijay Prashad  On May 15, 2023, Berkshire Hathaway reported in a Form 13F filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had completed the sale of its $4 billion stake in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC). This sale completed a process that began in February 2023, when Berkshire Hathaway announced that it sold 86 percent of its holdings in TSMC. In April, Berkshire Hathaway’s leader Warren Buffett told Nikkei that the geopolitical tension between the United States and China was “certainly a consideration” in his decision to divest from TSMC. TSMC told Nikkei, is a “well-managed company” but that Berkshire Hathaway would find other places for its capital.

How war in Ukraine completely altered Taiwanese government view of private war

By John P. Ruehl  In early May 2023 , a U.S. delegation consisting of 25 defense contractors arrived in Taiwan for a security summit, aimed to increase interoperability between the U.S. and Taiwanese militaries. It marks the latest step toward Taiwan’s years-long efforts to strengthen its defense capabilities and pose credible deterrence to the Chinese military.

How women wrestlers’ movement has become wider symbol for justice, dignity, safety

By Bharat Dogra  Vinesh Phogat is a prominent woman wrestler who has been the proud winner of gold medals for India in Asian and Commonwealth Games. In more recent times, however she has spent most of her time struggling to get justice for seven women wrestlers, including a minor, who have complained of sexual harassment by a very senior official of the Wrestling Federation of India.